In the Alianza Francesa in Quito, the Guayaquil artist will inaugurate his Latin American Collection today, with paintings by ‘Los Pata Pata’. In a hotel in New York, in the 60s, the Guayaquil-born artist Enrique Tábara (1930) began the journey of one of the styles that would have the greatest impact on his career and would later be known as ‘Los Pata Pata’, or the ‘Patitas’, as he names it with affection.
At that time, the artist was not happy with his previous work (focused on the abstract) and decided to return to the figurative. “In Europe and the United States, art had become geometric, with cold forms, so I told myself that I would return to the human,” says Tábara, sitting in the middle of two large-scale paintings with their unmistakable legs that are part of the Collection Latin America, a show that will open today, at 7:30 p.m., in the Alianza Francesa de Quito. In that New York hotel, Tábara made a human figure from head to foot the size of a meter, but the result did not satisfy him, so he broke the drawing, but at his side was a fragment of the legs he had drawn.
“I liked it so much that I took that drawing and made my first watercolor of the legs, which the Central Bank acquired”, says the artist behind his thick paste lenses, in a slow tone. In the first years, Tábara dedicated himself to making only legs and each painting was the manifestation of a different color. Then he added pants, made shoes and painted feet that, in some cases, were more realistic and in others, geometric.
Tábara, in each stage of the Patitas, has given greater value to particular aspects of painting. At first, the image had an essential role in his paintings, but then decided to “discredit” it.
Now, five years ago, he entered a new facet, in which space has greater importance. In the series of paintings exhibited in the Alianza Francesa, for example, the backgrounds – black, white or green – are the protagonists of his most recent pictorial composition. “My concern was to look for a language of space. The image was a pretext to look for a space “, confesses the artist.
The Latin America Collection is a project that will contain more than 100 works by the Guayaquil painter that will not be for sale and that are part of the Enrique Tábara Foundation. These are paintings that the artist has saved from different periods of his career. “This collection will be like a poem I dedicate to Latin America, but through colors and shapes, then, it is a tribute to the region,” acknowledges Tábara, for whom all pre-Columbian structures -sculptural or pictorial- have inspired him. (I)